The author focuses on one aspect of American Jewish communal evolution: the development
of the American synagogue. He states that change has historically come about in the American Jewish community through a process of challenge and response. Furthermore, communal challenges have usually been met in ways that reflect different strategic analyses of how best to promote communal survival. He also argues that young Jews have played a disproportionate role in promoting communal change and that changes in the American Jewish community in many cases run parallel to changes taking place in other American faith communities and within the nation at large.